**Disclaimer- I’m not sharing this post for your pity, sympathy or to make you sad. I share because sometimes we need to know we are not an island. We all have struggles. Knowing we aren’t alone is important. Let’s support each other is all walks of life. Thanks y’all!**
Third times the charm, that’s what they say. Whoever came up with this line wasn’t talking about children. At least not mine! Now don’t get me wrong, I have amazing children. I love them to no end. My life is full of wonderful things. I have been blessed.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not hard.
Now a little back story… I’ve dealt with depression for a significant portion of my life. I’ve been on several medications and gone to nearly countless doctors/therapists. I’ve been suicidal and I’ve wanted to end it all. But I have an extremely supportive family and I’ve gotten the help I’ve needed. When I had my daughter, I went through a serious bout of postpartum. It added an extra challenge to an already hard situation. A growing family requires a lot of time, attention and care. But, again with the help of medication, therapy, supportive family and friends, and great faith, we made it through.
Now back to the current story. B3 is here and so are the baby blues.
With each anticipated arrival of my children, I did alot of reading about getting ready. How should I prepare my home, my family and myself for our new bundle. So many of the stories added little tips or a glimpse of insight, but nothing real. It’s about to get real.
The first child was a big change, but we (my husband and I) had time and energy to make it work. With baby two, it didn’t feel that different. We hadn’t really gotten out of any of the baby stages, so the transition was easy. There was still two adults and two children, so divide and conquer worked well. Overall, these changes didn’t rock our family too hard.
B3 had given us a shake down! He’s a great baby, but he’s still a baby. He’s demanding, stays up all night and can do nothing for himself. Add that to a one year old and three year old and it’s a difficult mix. Yesterday I had a baby screaming for a bottle, a three year old crying for a go-gurt, and a one year old who had stuck her hand inside her poopy diaper. It was an interesting few minutes! The one year old is a night owl, the three year old is an extremely early riser and the baby likes to party in the middle of the night. We’re exhausted.
But that’s all what I call “physical” stuff. The emotional and mental part is so much harder.
I would really like to spend each day crawling into a giant pile of pillows, sleeping, watching chick-flicks and eating carbs all day. But that’s not possible. I have to function. I have three little people and one larger person (husband) counting on me. I must keep going. And the ‘going’ is so hard, everyday. It’s hard, everyday.
This B3 has also put a huge strain on my relationship with my husband. Now my husband and I bicker all the time, like most good couples do. But we also are really good communicators. We talk things out, we stay on the same page. We’ve never faced a big challenge where we weren’t able to give and receive support for each other. We complete each other in a really amazing way. But this time is different. I’m struggling to share with him how I hurt inside. He’s struggling to keep all the pieces of our life going when I can’t. I lash out at him for things, when he is doing everything he can. I shut him out and don’t share the affection I should. He is feeling neglected and abandoned. Our plates are so full. We have been together for almost five years and we have hit a wall.
But we are still strong. We took vows. We made promises to our children. We will get through this.
Here are a few tips on things we are doing to help us through this time of transition:
I have raided the dollar store. I stocked up on stickers, puzzles, window clings, and aluminum foil. I have a whole bin of goodies that I pull out to entertain my bigs when I need a few minutes, or when they need some positive attention. These items are all super cheap, so if they only last a few minutes, it’s OK. We have transformed our basement to kid central and moved almost all the toys there. I have the pack-n-play and swing set up so the baby can join us. I also have an old mattress that the kids can jump. They have a place to get energy out and I don’t go crazy trying to keep control.
My husband and I have plans for a date day this week. We needed time to reconnect. To remember why we did all this. I love this man. I love all he does for our family. I need to show him that. I need to make sure his needs are met too. I’m not one to be submissive, I won’t tell women to bow down for their husbands. However, I do want to honor this man. I want to care for him. And for that, there are times when I put his needs first. This comes in little things like saying “I love you” everyday, giving him a hug, and trying to help him around the house. I must give him special time, just like I do for each of my children.
Parenting is hard. Relationships are hard. Life is hard. But all so very, VERY worth it. With each struggle, comes victory. With each hardship, reward. Each tear, loads of love.
I am of great worth. It is worth it.